TRENCH WARFARE: Manu vs. Amosa(s)

Mililani defensive tackle Rex Manu has offers from Hawaii, Oregon, Stanford, Colorado and Utah among others. Photo by Krystle Marcellus/Star-Advertiser
Mililani defensive tackle Rex Manu has offers from Hawaii, Oregon, Stanford, Colorado and Utah among others. Photo by Krystle Marcellus/Star-Advertiser

Defensive tackle Rex Manu has yet to make up his mind for college. For now he’s busy trying to wreck opposing defenses.

The Mililani defensive tackle goes up against Campbell’s Atapana Amosa in tonight’s first OIA Division I semifinal game at Aloha Stadium.

As always each series is judged on a 10-point must system like a boxing match. This is purely for fun.


Amosa goes head-to-head with Manu on the first play and holds up as Campbell completes its first pass. Manu uses his speed inside on the next play and wraps up running back Austin May for a tackle for loss. Third-and-9 and Manu moves right to line u opposite the left guard, Arona Amosa. He managed to get through and force the option pitch but Sabers pick up the first down. Atapana back on Manu and alows Campbell to complete a pass for 9 yards. Arosa Amosa blocks inside on Manu and Campbell runs behind him for a first down. Manu is stood up by a double team as Campbell again runs outside on the pitch. Campbell runs right behind Atapana on the next play who is one-on-one against Manu. He doesn’t let Manu penetrate but the running back dances too long after running right into Amosa and Manu has his second tackle. Third-and-long and Manu gets through but the QB steps up and fires away. Incomplete pass. Good battle to start with Manu getting the slight advantage. 10-9 Manu.


Manu slides over to line up opposite the left guard, Arona Amosa and Amosa holds him up as Mililani is called for a defensive PI. Manu pushes Arona back on the next play but Amosa doesn’t let him get around as Campbell again has some time to throw. Sabers run away from Manu on next play as Arona Amosa gets down the field to block against the next level. Third-and-4 and Manu again can’t get much penetration. Granted the throws are quick but Amosa was up to the task on that one. 10-9 Amosa.


Manu shifts over to the left side to start this drive and is up against Timaalii Liulamaga. Sabers open with two runs to where Manu used to occupy and has a first down on the first run as the quarter ends. Manu getting a little piece of everyone as Boss Tafai gets him on third and long. Manu is stood up by Tafai and even though Campbell can’t complete the pass, it’s line did the job in a team effort on Manu on that drive. 10-9 Campbell.


Manu switches at the last second to go up against the right side of Campbell’s lineup. Looks like something he’s reading. He’s double teamed on the first run that goes for naught. Manu loses sight of the ball on a run left as he worries about the QB coming out. Third-and-2 and Campbell tries to run left. Manu is held up by Tafai for a moment but the RB is in trouble and he gets through and clean up the play to force a punt. 10-10 round.


Manu is on the bench to start the series with Mililani ahead 34-0 with 4:31 remaining. Trojans already going with their second stringers. Another three-and-out as DL Tyrell Niuatoa gets in on the fun with a third-down sack.


Manu is back in after the backups give up an 82-yard TD run. Manu races upfield but it’s a screen and Manu turns and races back to make the tackle 12 yards downfield. Impressive for a defensive tackle. 1 seconds remaining in the half and Manu is up against Atapana Amosa. They run left but Manu comes flying down the line toward the Campbell sideline and buries the running back for his fourth tackle to end the half. 10-9 Manu.


Manu opens the second half lined up against Arona Amosa. Solid blocking by the Sabers on the first two plays. Campbell gets tight and tries to run right at Manu but Manu holds off two guys. Mililani ball on a fumble. 10-10.


Manu smokes Tafai on the first play but it’s a QB dive up the middle so Tafai does his job. Tafai holds one-on-one on a passing play as Campbell’s QB has time. Incomplete. Manu is doubled on the next play but it goes for nothing. Three-and-out. Gotta go 10-10 there again.


Manu begins on the sideline but is back in as Mililani gives up a long run on Campbell’s first play. Manu breaks through just as Campbell fumbles the handoff and add a fumble recovery to end his solid night.

With Mililani ahead 47-7 with 3:56 left to start the fourth quarter, that might be it for Manu. Solid matchup as Campbell’s offensive line is pretty good. Watched them against Farrington’s Breiden Fehoko earlier in the year and the Sabers played really well in both games. Manu had a little more success because of his athleticism and quickness, which allowed him to get down the line east-west and make plays as well as come back down field for a tackle. Fun war in the trenches to watch.

According to, Manu has opened up his recruiting. Oregon, where he visited Sept. 6, is at the top of the list with Washington now in the hunt after he decided against Stanford, where he had originally committed. Washington State, Colorado, Vanderbilt some of the teams also mentioned in the mix.


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